Exmouth organ donor champion Steve backs calls to sign register
PUBLISHED: 12:00 08 September 2017 | UPDATED: 12:17 08 September 2017
Steve Gazzard has urged people to talk to their families about organ transplants.
Organ donation champion Steve Gazzard, from Withycombe Raleigh, Exmouth, is urging families to talk about transplants.
Steve has been on a mission to sign up as many organ donors as possible since 2012, when his daughter Sarah Wright died aged 36 waiting for a double lung transplant.
This week, Steve, who is backing a national campaign to encourage families to tell their loved-ones if they want to become organ donors after their death, is holding events to coincide with National Transplant Awareness Week,
Having held events so far this week in Exmouth and Exeter, he will hold sign-up sessions today (Thursday) in Exeter, tomorrow (Friday) in Bristol, and on Sunday, September 10, from 1pm to 4pm at Exmouth Lifeboat Station.
On Saturday, he will also be at an event at The Sowton Dent Company in Exeter, with a free car wash, food and music, between 10am and 4pm; that evening there will be a live music event at Exmouth’s Bicton Inn, from 5pm, raising money for the British Lung Foundation.
Steve said: “From June 2012 to date we have held a total of 382 separate ‘sign ups’ and signed up a staggering 4,819 new donors.”
His support comes after new figures were released, showing 67 people in Devon died on the waiting list for an organ transplant over the past 10 years.
Steve said: “It’s vitally important that people do talk to their next of kin. There is an enormous shortage of organ donors.
“It is one of the things I have a deep personal belief in and hopefully we can get people signing up this week.”
The NHS Blood and Transplant team revealed the number of deaths to mark Organ Donation Week (September 4 to 10) and is now urging people to tell their families they want to become donors.
The team said ‘hundreds’ of life-saving transplants were being missed every year because families were unaware what their relative wanted.
This contributed to a ‘deadly’ shortage of organs; in Devon there are currently 97 people waiting for a transplant.
Support Organ Donation Week at www.nhsbt.nhs.uk or register at www.organdonation.nhs.uk